various artists,
Traditional Voices: Historic Recordings
of Traditional Native American Flute

(Canyon, 1998)

Traditional Voices is Volume 20 in the Canyon Records Vintage Collection and was compiled from a variety of recordings made in the 1950s and '60s. The singers featured come from more than 20 different tribes and backgrounds and, as leaders in the Native American music scene, were quite important at the time they were performing. This CD was designed with the objective of providing a broad survey of the various cultural differences of Native American music.

The insert for this CD has 22 pages containing many photographs of Native Americans in full regalia or casual clothing at dances, Grand Entry to pow-wows, and other ceremonies. There is a section for each song that tells about the people and ceremony from which the selection originated, the dance that accompanied it and how it is performed. The length varies from a couple of paragraphs to almost a full page. This informative booklet gives a brief overview of many of the tribes and their cultures. It is worth the price of the CD.

With 30 pieces to choose from, there is just no way to pick a favorite. The songs and tunes are so diverse that there is certain to be something that will stand out and appeal to every musical taste. They range from slow and serene to fast and emphatic. This CD is like getting an introductory course to traditional Native American music. It provides such a broad sampling from the different cultures and varying styles of music. What you won't find here is synthesizers and orchestras supporting the vocals. This is straight traditional!

Selections are "Acoma Song of the Sky City," "Taos Pueblo Horse Tail Dance," "Zuni Buffalo Dance," "The Prisoner's Song" (Tewa), "Hopi Basket Dance," "Hopi Butterfly Dance," "Navajo (Dine) Gift Dance Song," "Navajo (Dine) Yei-Be-Chai Chant," "Ute Bear Dance," "The Mescalero Trail" (San Carlos Apache), "Apache Mountain Spirit Dance," "Mountain By The Sea," "Song Of The Green Rainbow" (Tohono O'odham), "Peyote Ceremonial Song," "Shawnee Stomp Dance," "Four Corners" (Shawnee), "Kiowa Round Dance," "Kiowa Medium Fast War Dance," "Fast Cheyenne War Dance" (Southern Cheyenne), "Oklahoma Round Dance" (Southern Cheyenne), "Ponca Hethushka Dance," "Omaha Hethushka Dance," "Pawnee Hand Game Song," "We're In The World A Short Time" (Arikara), "Bloody Knife's Warrior Song" (Arikara), "Montana Grass Song" (Dakota/Assiniboine), "Northern Cheyenne Sun Dance," "Northern Arapaho Fast Wolf Dance," "Crow Owl Dance Song" and "Lakota Love Song."

Every person with an interest in Native American or indigenous music should own this CD. It is a great for the student of music to use to acquaint themselves with the various styles of traditional Native American music.

- Rambles
written by Alicia Karen Elkins
published 9 August 2003

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